Publishing

New data on the Long Tail impact suggests rethinking history and ideas about the future of publishing

The Shatzkin Files

For most of my lifetime, the principal challenge a publisher faced to get a book noticed by a consumer and sold was to get it on the shelves in bookstores. Data was always scarce (I combed for it for years) but everything I ever saw reported confirmed that customers generally chose from what was made available through their retailers. Special orders — when a store ordered a particular book for a particular customer on demand, which meant the customer had to endure a gap between the visit when they ordered the book and one to pick it up — were a feature of the best stores and the subject of mechanisms (one called STOP in the 1970s and 1980s) that made it easier. But they constituted a very small percentage of any store’s sales, even when the wholesalers Ingram and Baker & Taylor made a vast number of books available to most stores within a day or two.

Full post here.

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Hachette Book Group Buys Perseus

In a three-way deal that would continue a wave of consolidation in the publishing industry, Hachette Book Group has purchased the publishing division of the Perseus Book Group, while selling Perseus' client-service business to leading distributor Ingram Content Group.

Hachette, where authors include James Patterson, J.K. Rowling and Malcolm Gladwell, jointly announced the transaction Tuesday with Perseus and Ingram. The news comes at a time when Hachette is in contentious negotiations with Amazon.com, which has slowed shipments, reduced discounts and removed pre-order buttons for numerous Hachette releases.

Full piece:
http://www.npr.org/2014/06/25/325372745/hachette-book-group-buys-perseus

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Watch this multi-billion-dollar industry evaporate overnight

http://venturebeat.com/2014/06/06/dylans-desk-watch-this-multi-billion-dollar-industry-evapo...

Indeed, Academia.edu, PLOS, and Arxiv.org are doing something remarkable: They’re mounting a full-frontal assault on a multi-billion-dollar industry and replacing it with something that makes much, much less money.

They’re far more efficient and fairer, and they vastly increase the openness and availability of research information. I believe this will be nothing but good for the human race in the long run. But I’m sure the executives of Elsevier, Springer, and others are weeping into their lattes as they watch this industry evaporate.

Maybe they can get together with newspaper executives to commiserate.

James Patterson: Digital revolution threatens American literature



Despite having dozens of best-selling titles to his name, author James Patterson is very worried about the present and future of books in America, as the publishing world continues to grapple with the rise of ebooks and their major distributor, Amazon.

Rethinking the business of publishing

A look at BookExpo, just held in New York.

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Hachette vs. Amazon: Big publishers messed up, small publishers rejoice, investors beware, and ordinary people don’t care

The Hachette/Amazon story is well played but the following Teleread piece discusses and links to several articles and brings together some interesting ideas.

* Independent booksellers appear to be opening more stores than closing them
* From an independent publisher’s point of view, Amazon is a forest in which a thousand flowers bloom

Full article here.

Inevitable consequences follow from the new hierarchy of power among publishers

Publishing consultant Mike Shatzkin discusses the public battle over trading terms taking place between Hachette Book Group and Amazon.

Peer Review as a Service: It's not about the journal

Peer Review as a Service: It's not about the journal
http://theoj.org/
And that's it. A journal with a nice web interface, an archive of the back and forth between reviewer and author, and a working peer review system. Simple. Beyond the lack of copyediting, everything you could want from a journal.

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Wondering whether printed books will outlast printed money, or football

When you’re trying to figure out what will happen in the book publishing business in the years to come, any prediction depends on how things work out that are beyond the control of the business, and sometimes well outside it. This will be increasingly the case if the book business, in what has remained a fairly lonely expectation of mine, is increasingly the domain of people who aren’t publishing or selling books as a primary commercial activity, but as an adjunct or complement to some other principal objective.

Full post at -- The Shatzkin Files

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